Dear Family, Friends and Fellow Travelers,
Once again, I am blessed with the opportunity to follow my dream, my passion, of traveling north to the Arctic Ocean under my own power, under human power. My capacity to fulfill this dream is enhanced and expanded by your interest, curiosity and well wishes. Know that all of your thoughts and prayers for my safe passage are received with gratitude. I thank you.
I want to acknowledge and thank those of you that have supported my adventure since its inception in 2001. And special thanks to those who have given their support and encouragement before, during and after last year's trip from Skagway to Fort Yukon. Your generosity of spirit and honest expressions of hospitality will always remind me how open-hearted I want to be.
The question “Why am I drawn to this journey?” has offend been asked. The answer if there is one is echoed in the words of author and open ocean kayaker Chris Duff’s in his book “On Celtic Tides”.
"There have been times in my travels when I have felt touched by a feeling of being fully alive physically, emotionally and spiritually. These are moments of true harmony, places of prayer and mystery that do not necessarily answer questions, but allow my mind or soul to dwell briefly in another realm. These places to which I travel are always wild and require great effort to reach. They are places where I can only stay a short while before retreating from the exposure, both physical and emotional. I always leave with mixed feelings of having been blessed and at the same time heavy with a sadness that is half in the rising and falling of my chest and then somewhere much deeper. I know I will never return to many of these places, though, they will live forever as feelings and emotions and snapshots of memory." - Chris Duff
My journey this year, takes me back to the interior of Alaska to complete the challenge of crossing the Brooks Range and the final destination of reaching the Arctic Ocean on the Alaskan coast. My route is overland and starts now with a spring ski across the Yukon Flats and following the frozen Chandalar River up the south side of the Brooks Range. Then I will come back in August to traverse the top of the “Range” through Gates of the Arctic National Park and down the north slope by way of the Colville River to the sea. In these final legs, I will stay focused, attentive and synchronous with the rhythms of our mother earth and the four elements of earth, water, wind and fire. I feel privileged to be able to pass through this land leaving as little trace as possible with remembrances in my mind, words and images only. I will celebrate its beauty and respect the dangers that wilderness can offer up.
With that, I invite you to travel with me on this solo journey via the magic of the Internet. Just log on to www.UnderHumanPower.com and click on Darrell's Blog. You can also follow the trip on Facebook and Twitter. You will be able to locate where I am most days and plot my progress via Google Earth maps from a SPOT Connect remote tracking system and occasional real time pod casts. If you want to send me an email just click Contact Me on the website Home Page or leave a blog comment, facebook post or tweet. I will be responding to e-mails when I get back to civilization. I get a little “Bushy" when I'm out there so “bear” with me if I don't respond to you right away.
All the best,